We open this week’s episode of Southern Charm with Cameran Eubanks calling Chelsea Meissner. Turns out, Chelsea will be helping fire cracker, Kathryn Dennis, choose outfits for her upcoming photo shoot. Although Cam has been anti-Kathryn since last season, she’s so impressed with the strides Kathryn is making in her personal life, she agrees to come along and give her two cents.
Thomas Ravenel stops by his buddy, JD’s restaurant. Though he ate lunch, Thomas always makes time a “cock’s tail.” Thomas is supportive of Kathryn’s reentry into the modeling field, so much so, that he’s bringing their daughter Kensie to the photo shoot. Thomas still finds Kathryn tough to resist, but insists he needs a real woman. He tells JD that he and Landon Clements have been hanging out. Because of the animosity between the ladies, JD thinks Landon is a questionable choice if Thomas wants to keep the peace with Kathryn.
Landon’s dad stops by for a visit. He nearly falls asleep as she complains about all the difficulties she’s had with the website formerly known as Roam. A successful real estate developer, Daddy shows Landon his newest riverside plots. He asks Landon to manage the property and be onsite every day. That way, she can pay her bills. Win-win. But Landon doesn’t want anything handed to her. She’s ready to live on her own terms, damn it.
Cameran stops by Shep Rose’s beach house at noon that day. Surprised to see Shep awake and place looking like a home instead of a frat house, Cam thinks he finally is wising up to his hard-partying ways. But Shep claims he’s weak to temptation and unhappy. He needs a buffer between himself and the downtown bar crawls. Cam thinks Shep needs to allow himself to be vulnerable and settle into a relationship — particularly with Chelsea. Shep states he’s not avoiding pain, he’s simply dead inside.
Chelsea and Kathryn meet to shop for the big photo shoot. Kathryn is trying to find something that will be a balance between party girl and soccer mom. When Cam shows up, Kathryn is surprised to see her, and a little put off that she suddenly wants to film now when she couldn’t bother to have coffee with Kathryn last season. Cam takes the opportunity to invite the ladies on a trip to Key West, but warns that Thomas and Landon are also invited. Kathryn thinks she can handle herself. As Kathryn changes in the dressing room, Chelsea and Cam talk about Shep’s slide into Lushville. They shake their heads in disappointment. Poor Shep. Will he ever find his way to manhood?
Austen Kroll takes a break the next day to stop by Chelsea’s salon and see her for a few. His parents are coming into town, and Chelsea wants to meet the genetic material that gave rise to Austen. He’s mentions that he’s meeting up with Shep and Whitney later that night. Chelsea spills details that Shep pulled her out behind a bar and forcibly kissed her the night before — with Austen waiting inside. They are both in awe over the size of Shep’s brass balls. And when Chelsea relates that Shep thinks her relationship with Austen is a joke, her sort-of boyfriend gets all kinds of pissed.
Later that night, Austen goes to the bar and immediately tells Craig Conover what happened between Shep and Chelsea. Craig isn’t surprised. He thinks Shep is a shitty dude with a bad attitude. Whitney Sudler-Smith strolls in and can feel the tension coming off Austen. Then Shep arrives and gives Austen and bro hug. Shep claims he’s happy that Austen has a relationship with Chelsea — even though they’re not dating. But they kind of are. Austen confronts Shep about trying to kiss Chelsea the night before. Shep says he was testing Chelsea’s commitment to Austen, but Craig points out that Shep tried to make the moves on his girlfriend, Naomie, the night Craig introduced them. Shep swears he’s no “Lothario.” Craig doesn’t even know what that means, man.
Whitney tries to defend Shep, and Shep himself thinks Austen is more invested in Landon than Chelsea. Austen calls bullshit. Whitney thinks Austen is overreacting. Shep and Austen fight over who has priority over Chlesea’s feminine favors. Austen declares that he and Chelsea aren’t “dating” but they are together. Hey, don’t ask them to define it! Labels are so 20th century! Shep apologizes and says he didn’t understand the situation. But this isn’t the first time Shep has dissed Austen. Just the week before, Shep told Austen he didn’t make enough money for Chelsea, that she’s slumming by dating-not-dating Austen.
At the next bar, Beau, Shep’s friend, finds out what’s going on. Austen and Craig thinks it’s shady that Shep tries to screw their girls. Austen tells Beau about Shep’s money comments, and Beau is shocked at Shep’s elitist attitude. In his interview, Whitney wears a black blazer that’s so shiny, I could see my own reflection. He derides Austen for being a diva. Austen tries to have it out with Shep once and for all, but Shep denies he ever said anything about Austen’s blue collar roots. He storms off, declaring he has all the friends he needs — and that doesn’t include Austen.
At the modeling agency, Chelsea arrives to help with Kathryn’s styling. Thomas pulls up with Kensie so she can join the photo shoot. Kathryn is hoping that this will be new chapter in their co-parenting journey. Kensie sits on Kathryn’s lap — and that little girl is adorable. Kathryn belatedly asks about her son, Saint. As the photographer starts snapping, Kensie is a natural in front of the camera. She plays with bubbles and giggles, and Thomas looks like a proud papa as he watches on. But by the time they’re through, Kensie is exhausted. She screams and cries and tries to climb into Kathryn’s car so she can leave with her mom. It’s pretty heartbreaking to see. As she goes back into the studio, Kathryn is also in tears. Chelsea tries to be encouraging, but Kathryn feels she’s paid the price for her screw-ups, and she wants her kids back in her life.
Cam drops by Chelsea’s house. Chelsea lays out what’s happening with her love triangle, and says that Shep is entitled and spoiled. Cam takes responsibility trying to get Shep and Chelsea together. She thinks he’s being a little punk by trying to steal Chelsea away from Austen in such a blatant manner. It’s obviously time for Shep to get a dose of tough love.
Craig and Naomie meet in the therapist’s office. When he stumbles in, looking tired and hungover, she asks if he just woke up — which Craig takes as a diss. He says that they had a few good days, but overall, their relationship hasn’t changed. Craig says Naomie is telling lies at his expense, and we’re treated to a flashback of her making fun of him at Patricia’s dinner party. The thing is, Craig is a goof. But Naomie knew that going in. He’s made some progress, and she’s not only disrespecting him, she’s openly mocking him in front of their friends. Craig deserves a little shaming for his past behavior, no question, but she tried to humiliate him, and it was pretty savage.
Craig feels like the one person who should have his back is making fun of him, but Naomie thinks he’s too sensitive and paranoid. Another flashback: she thinks he’s exhibiting loser behavior by sleeping all day. She’s not wrong! Craig says he only sleeps because he’s trading in offshore markets at 5 a.m. Now look, I don’t for a moment believe Craig is up at 5 a.m. trading in Dubai stocks, but she needs to stop belittling him, and he needs to step it up if he wants to be with her. Naomie finally says she’s ready to walk away. Maybe that would be best for both of them at this point.
Cameran takes Shep out for a beer and politely tells him to stop being a dumbass. Shep can’t really remember all the particulars about asking Chelsea to make out with him. If that’s the case, Cam wants him to stop drinking. She accuses Shep of being jealous. He dons his sunglasses, shielding his eyes, and tells her he doesn’t care about Chelsea. Or anyone else. He’s emotionally stunted, people.
And so ends our tale of Charleston drama. So, who is worse — Craig or Naomie? Why is Cam still pushing Shep when he clearly isn’t ready to give up his boozy ways? And was Chelsea right to tell Austen what happened between her and Shep?